Etched with animation so crude it makes Hanna-Barbera look like Anime, South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut is another winning indication that the Disney monopoly on toon town is dead. South Park not only manages to offer a unique alternative to traditional animation, it also manages to deliver a hilariously subversive take on everything from the nature of censorship to the classic cartoon kingdom that Disney built.
When impressionable young lads Kenny, Stan, Cartman and Kyle sneak into an R-rated film, the boys are privy to a Holy Land of cinematic swears. And they thought TV-14 shows were mature. Naturally, the boys are awestruck by the exuberance in which their beloved movie stars utter such lines as “c*ck knocker” and “uncle f*cker.” Enthralled, the boys begin to haplessly mimic the movie’s highly descriptive language, causing parents and politicians to panic to a point where America suddenly wages war on the country where the movie’s stars were born: Canada.
In short, South Park plays like a very good episode of the TV show. The unfortunate effect is that it manages to retain the incoherency of the series, which for 23 minutes is a blast… but for 80 is often way too much. After about 50 minutes, I found myself numb not to the language (as shock weary critics might expect) but simply to the blur of that trademark South Park pace.
On the plus side, the film is a sharply focused satire on such blame culture brainchildren as the V-chip and the MPAA ratings. As a result, the film is basically a thinly veiled defense of South Park: The Show, South Park: The Movie and South Park: The T-shirt. But most of all, it’s also a celebration of language. I never knew how many ways there were to describe sex with animals until I sat through all 80 minutes of South Park. This film belongs in every English class in America, let alone Current Events.
Of course, South Park is basically an animated version of the doodles you used to draw in your notebook margins… as if Paramount purchased the rights to your 1986 Trapper Keeper. So one way or another, South Park mentality is coming to your school system. Heck, it was born there. And there’s nothing any lobby group can ever do to censor that.